Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

The Rise of Youth Culture
In the United States, the period from 1945 to 1963 was termed the "Baby Boom" because of the...

(The entire section is 914 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Setting is crucial to this story, for it is through their environment, the inner city, that the main characters are defined: they live on the...

(The entire section is 261 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Ponyboy narrates the story in retrospect, under the guise of having to write out a theme for English class....

(The entire section is 899 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Hinton makes great use of the literary technique of "point of view," that is, the point from which a story is told. Hinton always uses the...

(The entire section is 628 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Outsiders contains a complex symbolic structure within a straightforward plot. Hinton uses symbolism to express class and...

(The entire section is 543 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The area of social concerns has always been one of the most important to the fiction of Hinton. Primary among the concerns of her fiction is...

(The entire section is 1333 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

1967: Romanticized movies of teen rebellion give way to upbeat musicals extolling a life of beach parties, fast cars, and...

(The entire section is 361 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)

May Hill Arbuthnot, in her Children's Reading in the Home, Scott, Foresman, 1969, pp. 174-75.


(The entire section is 519 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Daly, Jay. Presenting S. E. Hinton. Boston: Twayne, 1989.

Donelson, Kenneth L., and Alleen Pace Nilsen. Literature for Today’s Young Adults. 3d ed. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1989.

Mills, Randall K. “The Novels of S. E. Hinton: Springboard to Personal Growth for Adolescents.” Adolescence 22 (Fall, 1987): 641-646.

Stanek, Lou Willett. A Teacher’s Guide to the Paperback Editions of the Novels of S. E. Hinton. New York: Dell, 1975.

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Dallas Winston is an ambiguous character, romantic and independent, in some ways repugnant. He can be cruel and dangerous, but he loves...

(The entire section is 189 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Retell the story from the point of view of the Socs. What is the title of this new book? Are the Socs "the insiders," or are they...

(The entire section is 261 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Reflect on the significance of the title—who are the outsiders, and what are they outside of? What does it mean to be an outsider and why...

(The entire section is 270 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The primary American novel of a youth maturing must be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884). Huck's attempt to view the...

(The entire section is 303 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Warner Brothers produced a featurelength version of The Outsiders in 1983. It is rated PG and is available on video. The movie follows...

(The entire section is 195 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

A Movie Still from The Outsiders Published by Gale Cengage

The Outsiders was made into a film starring C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Tom...

(The entire section is 77 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

Hinton's second book, That Was Then, This Is Now, was published in 1971 after she overcame a...

(The entire section is 225 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Commire, Anne, ed. Something about the Author. Vol. 19. Detroit: Gale Research, 1980. Contains biographical information as well as...

(The entire section is 228 words.)